Originally Published: January 6, 2008 8:35 p.m.
PRESCOTT - Anita Fleming of Prescott started the New Year by attending the premier antique auction at Batterman's Auction.
Fleming does not attend many of auctions, but she attended the Jan. 1 event specifically to bid on a small mission bookcase.
In addition to successfully bidding on the bookcase, Fleming was also the high bidder for a Rozane Art pottery vase.
"I got a fabulous deal on both of them. I didn't think I could afford the pottery, but when I saw the bids, I decided to bid. I got it for half what I expected," Fleming said.
Fleming was one of 193 bidders attending the auction. Additional people participated in the auction by submitting phone, Internet or absentee bids.
The results of the Jan. 1 event indicate a strong local interest in auctions.
Batterman's owner Kurt Vogel said the auction "Broke the $100,000 mark."
Vogel and his wife Billie Jean opened Batterman's two years ago.
Before entering the work of auctions, Kurt Vogel worked for a large manufacturing company. He said he left the company after 20 years, but was still too young to retire.
"I have been drawn to auctions my entire life. In fact, I was influenced by an auctioneer in my home town," he said.
To prepare themselves for their new careers, the Vogels attended the Missouri School of Auctioneering.
Ann Marks is the office manager at Batterman's. In addition to the Premium Antique Auction, she said Batterman's conducts antique and household auctions.
"We will auction anything not currently alive," Marks said.
Batterman's conducts weekly household auctions, which include furniture, collectibles, tools and miscellaneous items. Its next antique auction is Feb. 2.
Marks said bidders must pay a 10 percent bidders premium.
"Successful buyers pay the hammer price (winning bid), 10 percent premium and sales tax," Marks said.
She said the auction house does accept silent bids, but silent bidders must pay a 15 percent buyers premium.
"We have a loyal following. People that come here find a friendly, family environment," Marks said.
Twelve-year-old Ted Vogel is learning the family business. He works the concession stand and carries small items to a safe location.
Ted often works as a "ringer," displaying small items to their best advantage. He is also a registered bidder.
"I like to bid on video games, movies and paint ball items," Ted said.
Marks said the auctioneers, Vogel and Jacy Lee, could sell about 100 items per hour.
She said the auction house occasionally sets "reserve" bid amounts. Reserve bids are the minimum amount a seller would accept for the item.
"We discourage sellers from setting a reserve amount because we feel that it discourages bidders," Marks said.
The Jan. 1 auction included 465 items ranging from jewelry and coins to a five-piece bedroom set.
Bidders have the opportunity to look at the items the day before the auction.
"They can also look at the items during the week or one hour before the auction starts," Marks said.
Marks said Batterman's has outgrown its current location at 418 N. Mt. Vernon and will soon be moving into the old McElvain Motors building in downtown Prescott.
Vogel said Batterman's has opened a direct sales gallery at its new location.
"As far as the auction space, we are waiting for the city to issue a permit so we can make a few modifications. We hoped to be moved by the first of February, but it doesn't look like it will happen," he said.
As Marks said, Batterman's can auction anything that is not currently alive.
Vogel has a real estate license and a federal firearms license.
"We can sell anything from soup to nuts, including property liquidation. We can take in estates and handle the liquidation of household items and property. A person living out of state can rest comfortably knowing the estate is in the hands of someone doing legitimate business in Prescott, Ariz.," Vogel said.
Anyone wanting more information about Batterman's should contact Marks at 445-6787, or visit the website at www.battermans.com.
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